Before The Dead brings together a rare collection of the earliest known performances by Jerry Garcia. From an informal and intimate 1961 performance of simple folk songs at a birthday party with future songwriting partner Robert Hunter to more polished coffeehouse gigs with old-timey and bluegrass bands through 1964, this collection showcases Garcia’s deep study of the folk music tradition and it’s influence on his musical journey leading to the formation of the Grateful Dead.
Before The Dead is produced and curated by longtime Grateful Dead publicist and author Dennis McNally and documentarian Brian Miksis who also contributed extensive liner notes to the collection bringing historical context for each performance and the carefully researched lineage of each recording. The liner notes, along with the track by track essays and listening notes by musicologist & bluegrass historian Neil V. Rosenberg, essays from Sara Ruppenthal Katz (Garcia’s first wife) and Stu Goldstein (former owner of The Tangent) and rare photos and memorabilia comprise the 32-page book included with the collection.
Before The Dead will be released in two physical configurations – a limited edition 5-LP boxed set and a 4-CD edition. The 5-LP boxed set is pressed to 180-gram vinyl in a limited edition of 2,500 by Quality Record Pressings from lacquers cut by Ron McMaster at Capitol Records. The recordings contained within Before The Dead were restored and mastered by Fred Kevorkian. Both configurations are now available for pre-order at GarciaFamilyProvisions.com in advance of their May 11th release date.